I get asked this question a lot, along with the one about “is duplicate content such a bad thing”?
The short answers are “yes” and “no”.
Yes – unique content is essential to your success (or rather the success of your websites) and
No – duplicate content isn’t such a bad thing – or certainly not as bad as a lot of people would have you believe.
You do need some unique content to make your site stand out from all the rest, (whether that unique content is actual articles on your site or articles that you promote with links back to your site).
You also don’t need to worry too much about using duplicate content on your sites, as the search engines will rank your sites (and your content) based on the quality of that content, and the number of incoming links you have to it.
Let me give you an actual example from one of my own niche sites…
Six months ago I built a 30 page website based on a pretty competitive niche that I wanted to target. The main keyword for the niche had 21,000,000 competing pages in Google – so in my book that’s a pretty competitive niche.
I found some decent quality PLR articles for the niche by searching the WSO section of the warrior forum (there’s some great offers on there btw), and simply created a very simple article site using these PLR articles. I’m also a member at 3WayLinks, Linkvana and Unique Article Wizard to promote the sites, and all the content I used for promotion was totally unique.
Today, that site is averaging $450 a month from simply displaying adsense ads on it, and is getting an average of 3500 unique visitors each month.
The most competitive keyword for the site has 21,000,000 (21 million) competing pages in Google, and this site is listed at position #3. It also has 13 other page one rankings for various other keywords in the niche, each of which range from 500,000 to 20,000,000 competing pages in Google.
You can build a site using original (not modified in any way) PLR content and still make money. I built 10 sites like this one at the time, and between them, they’re averaging $250 a month each – or $2500 a month combined. Total investment was $100 for the PLR articles (for all 10 sites – between 20 and 30 articles per site), and an extra $50 per site for the promotion. That covered some articles written to use in Unique Article Wizard, and some blog posts with Linkvana (I already had a 3waylinks membership). So for my initial (and one-off) investment of $600 I’m now making $2500 each month. Easy money? Yeah – pretty much!
So – is unique content absolutely essential to your websites’ success? For promotion purposes I’d have to say a resounding “Yes” – but for the actual site – absolutely not – PLR articles are just fine.